HTC Hero CDMA Review
The CDMA Hero runs on Sprint’s EVDO Rev. A network. On the local side it supports Wi-Fi for when 3G cellular data isn’t available and Bluetooth 2.0+EDR.
The browser is Webkit based and similar in scope to Mobile Safari and the webOS browser. It is not quite as good as either of those though; there was no one thing that stood out but it just wasn’t as smooth. It does have Flash support, but not all versions of Flash are supported. Adobe.com gives a Flash error, whereas htc.com/us plays fine. Videos that do play aren’t exactly choppy, but they’re not smooth; at the end of the day the hardware is probably limiting the device.
Content syncing can be achieved in one of three ways. The easiest solution is to simply use Gmail, which will back up your contacts and calendar. Users can also opt for Outlook sync via the HTC Sync software (similar to ActiveSync) or by connecting to an Exchange server. With the Pre contact and calendar changes are nearly instantaneously synced, but with Android it takes a bit. Nothing major, but for those looking for instant gratification webOS is quicker on the uptake. Gmail would also be delivered to the Pre quicker, though we’re only talking a few seconds on that.
The camera interface is similar to what we’ve seen from HTC in the past, and identical to the GSM Hero, but has a few differences from Windows devices. It has 5 megapixels with auto-focus, and a neat feature is that you can tap anywhere on the screen to set the focal point. Image controls are fairly standard - contrast, saturation, sharpness, ISO adjustment (100-800 plus auto), metering and flicker adjustments - but nothing out of the ordinary. There is no flash, but the Hero supports geotagging of photos and integrates them with their Footprints feature.
Megapixels keep increasing on cell phones, but for the most part the pictures are just getting bigger. In bright sunlight the Hero’s 5MP shooter managed only so-so shots, and under artificial lights results could be downright bad. Colors were washed out, details were muddy and in general pictures were just bad. At least the performance has improved a bit over the original Hero as images are no longer underexposed.
Videos can be captured in large (352x299,) medium (QVGA) and small (CIF) resolutions and were equally poor in quality. The user can adjust the white balance, brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpness.
The HTC Hero has decent codec support. The music player can handle MP3, AAC (AAC, AAC+, AAC-LC), AMR-NB, WAV, MIDI and WMA 9 files, and the video player can handle MPEG-4, H.263, H.264 and WMV 9 files. It handled all the mp3 files we threw at it like a champ; all the album art and ID3 tag information was properly read. It had issues with higher quality videos, however. It was ok with H.264 MP4 files as long as the resolution wasn’t too high, but once we got to 640x360 it would no longer play (640x272 played fine.) We’re still waiting on an Android version of CorePlayer for better codec support.
We enjoyed the music interface, something we haven’t typically said about HTC devices. The music player is well laid out and easy to navigate, and there are two HTC widgets that place controls on the homescreen. The video player is very straightforward, tapping the screen brings up playback controls and you can scrub through the video. Playback was very smooth, but the 65k colors limited video quality at times, though not always.
Music can be sideloaded or downloaded OTA via the Amazon MP3 store. This is the second major device from Sprint to offer Amazon as its music store instead of Sprint’s own.
There are several preinstalled apps for the Hero, but Android Market is now over 8,000 apps strong to expand your catalog. Of course all of the Google services are installed, and Google Maps is as excellent as ever. Sprint Navigation has been bundled with the Hero and offers turn by turn GPS directions. Sprint has included its NASCAR Mobile, NFL Mobile Live and SprintTV apps, the latter two have a widget as well.
Other notable programs include HTC Footprints, Peep (HTC’s Twitter client,) Stocks (ironically, data comes from Yahoo,) Weather, YouTube, PDF Viewer and Quickoffice. Most importantly, Teeter is included! We could do an entire review on Android apps and not begin to scratch the surface, so whatever you want to do we’ll just say that there’s likely an app for it.
1. remixfa (Posts: 13902; Member since: 19 Dec 2008)
lag is a factor from the sence ui. of course, u can root the phone and get the free app that uses a swap file on your mem card as extra system memory, making things smooth as butter again. i wonder if the "1 click root" will work on the hero? anyone know?
6. coleckelberry (Posts: 1; Member since: 14 Oct 2009)
what app is this and is it an approved android app ??
2. dialtone (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Oct 2009)
Just played with this little jewel at the local Sprint store, and had to quickly move on as others were waiting to do the same. I can tell you it's very well built. I didn't experience any lag - the web browser was plenty smooth and the whole UI seemed well put together. Very impressed.
3. GoofyGirl_77 (Posts: 11; Member since: 09 Oct 2009)
I have a few questions - I'm seriously contemplating getting this phone but would like to know: 1. When the phone rings can you really silence it by turning the phone over? 2. Does this phone have a cut, copy & paste feature? 3. Is there a way to lock the screen when you answer the phone so you don't accidentally access other apps? 4. How is battery life compared to the Palm Pre? Thanks!
5. tokuzumi (Posts: 237; Member since: 27 Aug 2009)
I have been unable to find anything that is missing, with regards to colors.
7. letoauto (Posts: 2; Member since: 16 Oct 2009)
anyone haveing issues with software... dont like no proximity sensor... and hard to end a call???
8. GoofyGirl_77 (Posts: 11; Member since: 09 Oct 2009)
Ok - I got the Hero today - wow! It is stunning! I have not found any issues with lag, no proximity sensor really isn't an issue when on a call and I didn't have any problems ending a call. Very easy to setup. I recommend using the clean slate scene to start then after putting everything where you want it save it as a scene. Much easier than deleting and rearranging!! Just my .02
9. bigdog805 (Posts: 20; Member since: 06 Jun 2009)
Great phone, Just dont understand why sprint isnt promoting it like they did the palm pre. Android is a great OS, and have a well established app store where almost all the apps are free unlike most other app stores.
10. Cooper33 (Posts: 25; Member since: 31 Jul 2009)
I know phonearena rates the phones only between the phones of that particular cell phone carrier with which the phones are available. so tell me how he htc hero and the palm pixi have the same score? they're both and sprint, and this is clearly a much better phone becuase of the many capabilities is has in comparison to the pixi. god review i guess. but phonearena's ratings never seem consistent to me.
11. dweezilb (Posts: 2; Member since: 12 Feb 2010)
I've had the hero for about a week now and I like it, but the virtual keyboard is very hard to use. I'm coming from a TouchDiamond with a smaller resistive screen, but strangely I could type faster on the Touch because I could use my fingernails to pinpoint the key I wanted. With the Hero's capacitive screen I have to use my fingertip and I keep hitting the wrong keys. Strange that I prefer the resistive technology! Seriously considering trading it for a Samsung Moment for the keyboard.
12. abdul12345 (unregistered)
are yeh chahiye mujhe
contact urjently htc agent plzzzzzzz
13. angry consumer (unregistered)
This phone is such a piece of s**t.